Lack of Vitamin D Associated with Increased Heart Attack Risk
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Dr. Pinna says…
This information about Vitamin D and heart attacks is new.
We will all be swallowing Vitamin D capsules in the near future.
The largest study ever on the subject shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with an 81 percent higher rate of heart attacks and premature death (Aterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, published online August 30, 2012). The authors also showed that 17 other studies came to the same conclusion.
HOW LACK OF VITAMIN D CAN CAUSE HEART ATTACKS
Before insulin can do its job of drawing sugar from the bloodstream into cells, it must first attach to insulin receptors, special hooks on the outer surface of cell membranes. This requires vitamin D.
People who lack vitamin D have cells that do not respond well to insulin. Therefore their blood sugar levels rise too high after meals. A high rise in blood sugar causes cell damage which markedly increases damage to the inner linings of arteries that increases a person’s chance of suffering a heart attack.
DERMATOLOGISTS PROTECT THE SKIN
Almost all dermatologists tell you to stay out of the sun because excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer.
They do not tell you that the number of people who die from heart attacks and diabetes far exceed the number of those who die of skin cancer.
It is certainly true that excessive exposure to sunlight causes skin cancer. However, for almost all people, the amount of sunlight necessary to prevent vitamin D deficiency is far less than the exposure necessary to cause skin cancer.
GETTING VITAMIN D FROM SUNLIGHT WITHOUT CAUSING SKIN CANCER
The most common sites for non-melanoma skin cancers include those with the greatest sun exposure: your face, nose, top of your ears, scalp, arms, and neck. To reduce your risk for skin cancer:
COVER THE SKIN SITES NORMALLY EXPOSED TO THE MOST SUNLIGHT
It is the cumulative exposure to sunlight over a lifetime that increases risk for skin cancer. You should wear a hat, wear a long-sleeved shirt or cover your arms with arm coolers, and use sun screens on your hands, face and the tops of your ears.
EXPOSE THE AREAS OF REDUCED SUN EXPOSURE
Expose your legs to sunlight for 20 minutes three or four times a week. This should meet your needs for vitamin D.